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How Much Does A Chimney Sweep Cost?

Typical Range: $127 - $355

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Chimney Sweep Cost

According to more than 16,000 nationwide homeowners, the average chimney sweep cost is $241. The typical chimney cleaning cost is between $127 and $355. Wood fireplaces that receive regular maintenance price $85 to $100 per cleaning. Those with build-up from years of neglect could total as much as $800. Chimney cleaning kits run between $50 to $100.

Using a wood-burning fireplace in the winter can lower your electric bills, not to mention its cozy appeal. However, smoke in your chimney leaves behind ash and carbon residue. This residue needs to be removed periodically because it can lead to chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks and lack of airflow to the outside.

On This Page

  1. What Does a Chimney Sweep Include?
  2. Cleaning
  3. Inspection
    1. Level 1
    2. Level 2
    3. Level 3
  4. Additional Chimney Service
    1. Cap
    2. Liners
    3. Flashing
    4. Fireplace Damper
    5. Animal Removal
  5. Creosote Logs
  6. FAQs
  7. Hire a Pro

Chimney Cleaning Cost Calculator

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National Average
$241
Typical Range
$127 - $355
Low End - High End
$89 - $900

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 17,174 HomeAdvisor members in .
It's hard to determine when your chimney needs cleaning. Most of us aren't equipped with the proper tools for inspection and there is no cut-and-dry time for everyone because use of the fireplace varies. The National Fire Protection Association recommends at least one annual cleaning. If you use your chimney nightly, you will need more frequent service than a neighbor who uses theirs weekly. The best way to figure out your particular needs is to contact a local chimney sweep for an expert inspection and evaluation.

What Does a Chimney Sweep Include?

Your chimney sweep service will include an inspection and cleaning. The level of inspection will depend on how long it has been since your last service and whether there are structural concerns. A basic service will involve a Level 1 inspection.
If you're not sure that you need your chimney swept, there are a few signs to look for:
  • Built-up soot and creosote: You can check the build-up yourself. For safety reasons, make sure that there isn't a draft coming down the chimney. If there is, open a door or window to reverse it. Make sure to wear a dust mask and safety goggles. Shine a bright flashlight up into the flue and scrape into the soot. The soot should only measure up to ⅛” thickness. Any more and it needs to be cleaned.
  • Smoke entering room: If smoke is coming into your living space, there may be significant blockage in your flue.
  • Odor: A rich tar smell emanating out of your fireplace is a sign you have creosote build-up.
  • Weak fire: If your fire isn't as strong as it used to be, you probably need to have your chimney cleaned. Handle this as soon as possible because insufficient wood burning can lead to faster creosote deposits.
Regular sweeping services will prevent the above issues. Creosote is a combustible residue created by burning wood. Excessive creosote buildup along your chimney flue is a serious hazard that could lead to a chimney fire and damage to your home.

Chimney Cleaning Cost - $100-$300

When cleaning, the professional will use a wire brush that is suited to the size of your chimney to scrub residue from the interior walls. They attach this brush to flexible rods which they can connect to extend it deeper into the flue. They will either approach the cleaning from the roof in a top-down manner or from the fireplace in a bottom-up manner.
A less common method involves weights and ropes rather than rods. In this instance, the professional approaches the work from the top. They can also enlist a second sweeper to pull from the bottom.
Working from the top is often preferred because it makes less mess. The fireplace can be closed off and less soot and residue will enter the home and air. As part of the service, tarps will be placed at the bottom of the fireplace and efforts will be made to keep mess minimal. However, you may want to remove or cover any nearby furniture to protect it.
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Chimney Inspection Cost

An inspection is necessary to ensure your chimney is safe to clean and use. Level 1 is "rolled into" the cost of your cleaning service. There are two other levels which get progressively more detailed. Level 2 will be necessary if you are going to do work on the chimney and Level 3 when there is definite structural damage. The costs listed are for each independent service before they are priced together.

Level 1 - $80-$200

A level one inspection is often considered "free" as part of your cleaning service. This inspection is for chimneys that are functioning properly and are regularly cleaned. The professional will check the condition of the exterior and the components of the fireplace. They will inspect as much of the interior as they can see with a flashlight and check for blockages and obstructions.
During this service, the contractor may discover damage to the exterior brickwork of your chimney. You may need to replace individual bricks or repair the mortar. To find out more about the cost of these services, see our brick work repair cost guide.

Level 2 - $100-$500

This level is necessary before work is performed on the chimney which might compromise its stability or function. It involves sending a camera down the flue for a detailed assessment and a thorough check of surrounding structures (attic, basement). You'll need a level 2 inspection before relining the flue or retrofitting for a different type of heating component. You should also get one after an accident involving your chimney and before selling your home.

Level 3 - $1,000-$5,000

This highest level of inspection is necessary when structural damage is almost certain. Parts of the chimney may need to be deconstructed so that the inspector can reach and ascertain damage.

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Additional Chimney Services

Your chimney sweep may find that there are other issues that need to be fixed. They could also find that there are ways to improve your chimney to minimize creosote and maximize efficiency. Some of these will be easy and affordable, while others will cost thousands and involve days of labor.

Chimney Caps - $150-$700 to install

These keep debris, water and animals out of your chimney. A professional is likely to recommend a chimney cap if you have issues with downdrafts. Damaged caps should be replaced for optimal efficiency.

Flue/Chimney Liners - $1,600-$5,000

You may need to line or reline your chimney. Flue liners protect the masonry and mortar, extending the life of your chimney. They also retain heat and provide optimum ventilation. If you don't have a flue liner, one will likely be recommended. If yours is cracked and damaged, repairs or replacement will make fireplace use safer.

Chimney Flashing - $200-$500 to install

If you don't have flashing where your chimney meets the roof, or if yours is damaged, you'll want to remedy this right away. Flashing prevents leaks and water damage. You can lower your costs by doing it yourself, but much like other roofing work, it's recommended that you enlist the services of a professional for proper installation of roof flashing.

Fireplace Damper - $100-$225 repair / $200-$300 install

Dampers are an important means of directing smoke up and out of the chimney and preventing downdrafts. If your damper is damaged or warped, you'll want to replace it. A warped damper could be pulling your indoor air out and decreasing your home's efficiency. It could also push smoke into your living space.

Animal Removal - $175-$500 for removal

Raccoons tend to make homes out of chimneys, which is unsafe for them and for you. It's not uncommon for chimney sweeps to come across these and other animals or birds. The cost to have animals removed humanely and professionally varies from one species to another. Bats, for example, cost more than squirrels to get rid of safely.

Creosote Logs - $10-$20 per log

Creosote sweeping logs are an effective tool for loosening residue inside your chimney flue. They chemically change thick, tar-like creosote into a more flaky and manageable consistency. The ash-like creosote then falls into the fireplace. You can use these throughout the year to keep your flue in shape. However, they should not be used in place of a professional cleaning service.
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FAQs

The below are a set of questions that homeowners should ask themselves when considering when and whether or not to get a chimney sweeping.

How often do you use your fireplace?

If you use your fireplace four or more times a week, you will need the chimney cleaned on a regular basis to guard against build-up. It is best to have a chimney sweep come to your home to do an assessment of what is needed before you plan on how often you will have a chimney cleaning. This will be the single-most important factor in the cost of your chimney's upkeep as it will determine how often a chimney sweeper comes to your home.

How steep is your roof?

A chimney sweep must clean your chimney on both the inside and outside of your home. The outside portion involves climbing on your roof and cleaning down the chimney for as far as he can reach. If you have a particularly high or steep roof that will make it either difficult to access by way of a ladder or especially difficult to climb on, then your chimney sweep may have extra fees involved in your cleaning. This is something to address with him before the beginning of the cleaning.

How long since your last cleaning?

Cleaning your chimney is an important task and must be done for the sake of your safety. If you haven't had your chimney cleaned in many years and use your fireplace regularly, the cost of the initial cleaning may be more expensive than any subsequent cleaning. Any build-up that has solidified over the years may be very difficult to remove and so the cleaning will need to be more extensive.
Make Sure Your Chimney is Safe to Use

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Hiring a Professional

Working with a chimney is hazardous, especially if you need to approach it from the roof. You also may not have the tools and knowledge necessary to diagnose major problems. A chimney fire can be detrimental to your homes safety, and the low cost of annual maintenance is worth the investment. If you hire a certified chimney sweep, they can also make recommendations that will improve your home’s safety and efficiency.

Check Credentials

Make sure you are getting certified service. We recommend hiring a sweep who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. You'll want to know how long the professional has been in business and make sure they have liability insurance. Check online reviews and ratings for chimney sweeps from other homeowners to ensure you're hiring a reputable cleaning service.

 

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.